Traditional recruitment processes such as perfecting your CV, and undertaking both phone and face to face interviews can all be daunting experiences, especially for those candidates without much experience in the field of job hunting.
However, it’s now becoming standard practice for businesses of all sizes to adopt new recruitment methods that delve deeper into a candidate’s personality and ability, in order to determine if candidates are not only going to live up to their performance promises made on paper; but also if they can think and adapt their skills quickly, and if their personal views and ethics are aligned with that of the company.
For businesses, recruitment can be expensive, and for those looking to further their career, it can be a long-winded procedure. Neither party wants to see their searches go to waste, and this is why new processes and methods such as emotional intelligence testing and practical assessments are being used to identify hidden qualities and behavioural traits to ensure that both parties will enjoy a long and successful career relationship.
Below, we will run you through some of the processes that you can expect to encounter whilst on your search for your next role.
Psychometric tests use a method that measures the mental capability and behavioural style of an individual. These tests also measure how suitable the candidate is for the job role they are applying for; by measuring a person’s aptitude and characteristics against what is required for the role, you will able to forecast how they will perform.
Employers use these tests to draw out hidden characteristics that are notoriously difficult to identify during an interview.
Psychometric tests are objective and are often split into two types; aptitude and personality.
Personality tests explore areas such as your interests, personal values and what motivates you, and analyses how your character would fit in with the company. They ask you a series of situation-based questions that scrutinise your emotions and behaviours, along with relationships based on varying situations.
The test will provide you with a statement about ways of feeling or acting, for which you mark how much you agree with the statement on a scale.
Aptitude tests assess your ability to reason and determine whether your skill set is aligned with the role. Your results are compared to a benchmark, and usually, a certain score must be achieved in order to ‘pass’ the test. These tests look at your numerical, verbal and abstract reasoning, situational judgement and how effective your response is in varying situations and how quickly and accurately you can error check.
There are varying psychometric tests to sit; you will be provided with a range of statements, which after reading, you will be required to answer a true or false question about. You will also be provided with images that have a pattern or sequence that you need to determine or be asked to look at graphs and charts and analyse and summarise the results that they depict. The most common type of psychometric testing is the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and the Occupational Personality Questionnaire (OPQ).
Emotional Intelligence Tests
In the academic and business world, there is a legacy of an emphasis being placed on aspects of intelligence such as mathematical and verbal skills and logical reasoning; but in recent years, that emphasis has been also placed on the value of emotional intelligence.
An emotional intelligence test evaluates an individual’s capability to recognise their own varying emotions, along with the emotions of others, as well as using this emotional information to help them in their thought process and actions and ability to adapt to situations and environments successfully.
Emotional intelligence tests will provide you with a number of statements, such as, “I like learning new things”, “I am not satisfied with my work unless someone else praises me” and “I express my opinion even if there is a good chance that other people will disagree with me”. Candidates are required to choose how true or false the statement is with regards to you and your actions and feelings.
Hiring managers are often concerned that traditional processes such as the usual face to face interview, weren’t effective at extracting the right information to determine how strong a candidate would perform in a role.
The practical assessment technique was introduced in order to see how an applicant demonstrates a work-related skill, and also under some pressure, to see how true their knowledge and skills are that had been put forward on their CV.
Practical assessments usually come in the form of a written assessment such as an essay or report on a specified topic, or you may be asked to review and proof read documents before being asked to provide a summary; they usually last between 40-60 minutes.
Other examples of practical assessments include ‘in-tray or e-tray exercises’ and require the candidate to organise a workload in a synthesised business scenario; usually lasting between 30-60 minutes, candidates are asked to work through items including emails, reports, minutes and policy documents, prioritising them and explaining the response and strategy. Recruiters look for candidates who can work quickly, accurately and logically and who can justify their thoughts and actions.
Group activities usually involve up to ten candidates and are often used when organisations are recruiting for multiple vacancies. This process is used to assess an individual’s competency when it comes to team work, enthusiasm, and decisiveness and persuasion, as well as problem-solving and critical thinking.
Group exercises are likely to include ‘ice-breakers’ that encourage individuals to relax and a team to bond. This is usually followed by a discussion task, whereby a team is asked to reach a logical conclusion of a business scenario – all candidates are expected to contribute and be able to justify the conclusion.
Another common aspect of group activities is role play, such as mock meetings.
All of these processes are designed to gauge a candidates suitability for a role, so that an organisation is able to choose someone that will perform at a high level, and whose values and ethics are aligned with the companies, meaning that they will remain in the business for a significant period of time, and reducing the need to hire regularly – an expensive and inefficient model.